These people do exist, and they are stronger than ever. But America’s attitude towards them is hard to decipher. Their first response, as usual, is simply denial. Americans deny that reality really exists. And a denial of their power structure is part of that pattern. They conform to it automatically and unconsciously while consciously denying its existence.
They are also helpless, and declare that, whatever it is, they can do nothing about it. They had nothing to do with its formation and cannot be held responsible for its behavior (which is not entirely true). To repeat, there are two interacting forces in this complex – denial and helplessness.
But instead of feeling ashamed of themselves, they are proud they have come up with such a perfect solution. They have decided not to live in a defective reality, but to live in perfect world of their own making instead.
But I see I have gotten of the track – I started to write about their ruling class.
A short historical review is in order here, but I will limit myself to the American history I experienced – beginning when I was an adolescent, in the Fifties. The first obsession for all high-school graduates was simple – to get a good job. And that meant first of all going to college, getting a profession, and then working for an organization. I went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration as an engineer, and my siblings when to work as schoolteachers.
We expected to work for one organization all our lives, work our way up in it, and then retire from it. The organization was supposed to provide for us, and to make life comfortable for the large middle class, of which we were a part. But things did not work out that way.
What happened instead is hard to describe, but I will try anyway. Back in my Father’s day, there were large, stable companies who hired most of the people. In my Father’s home town of Ft. Madison, Iowa, the West End was dominated by the Santa Fe Railroad. And the East End by the Sheaffer Pen Company. And there were many, many small businesses, such a the photography studio owned by my Father. The family farm was still important in rural areas.
There was a large layer of middle managers, or the bosses, as they were known, in any company, and they were the ones who actually ran the place. They were well-paid, and anyone could aspire to one of these positions. Or, if you were more independent, to be a successful small businessman. The demands in either case were not severe, and anyone could look forward to an pleasant, affluent life.
But slowly all this changed. American society lost its focus on the successful individual, and focused instead on a successful techno-structure – where only a few at the very top benefited. I have invented a new word here techno-structure – quite to my own surprise. Let me work on it for awhile.
Successful technologies have always produced new societies – this what civilization amounted to. A new kind of people appeared, and a new kind of person, that never existed before. This resulted, over the next thousand years or so, in the Roman Empire. Which resulted, in turn, in its collapse, the Middle Ages, and then the Modern World – and then its collapse into what something we now the Post-Modern World – for the lack of a better term.
In every case there was a ruling class, as there always is – although in times of fast change (such as the present) they come and go so fast, they are hard to keep track off. Now I have finished my very short history of the world, I will return to the present.
What has happened in the last fifty years or so? What I call the techno-structure has taken over. In an eerie way, our technology has taken control of us. Although to be more correct – we have merged with it and the resulting complex has taken over.
This brings up the all-important idea of a complex – something that most people, including many scientists, have a hard time getting their minds around. The facts are simple – in most situations, lots of variables interact with lots of other variables to affect how everything works. We no longer have a simple cause-and-effect situation. This was only an illusion – one that served us well, it is true, but also left us with a mess we do not know how to deal with.
This includes a shadowy new ruling class who clearly exist somehow, but just how, we are not sure. They are part of the Global Economy – which we do not understand either. We are on automatic pilot, with unknown forces at the controls.
Let me give a concrete example. I live in rural Costa Rica, and coffee farms dominate the landscape. But more and more communication towers also dominate it. Why? Because Ticos have become obsessed with their cell phones, and all kinds of foreign companies are rushing in to profit from this.
What dominates these companies? The combination of an ruling elite and their technologies. The same as in the USA, whose popular culture (and business culture) they identify with.